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Burkina Junta Leader Resigns, Flees After Coup

Burkina Faso’s junta leader agreed to step down on Sunday, religious and community leaders said, two days after army officers announced his ouster in a coup that sparked internal unrest and international condemnation, IgbereTV reports 

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba “himself offered his resignation in order to avoid confrontations with serious human and material consequences”, the religious and community leaders said in a statement.

It followed mediation between Damiba and the new self-proclaimed leader, Ibrahim Traore, by the religious and community leaders, they added.

Regional diplomatic sources said Damiba — who himself took power in a January putsch — had fled to Togo’s capital Lome on Sunday following the unstable and impoverished West African nation’s second coup this year.

Traore announced in the evening that he had received the support of army chiefs to “reinvigorate” the anti-jihadist struggle.

In a statement Sunday, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS welcomed that the various players in the Burkinabe drama had accepted “a peaceful settlement of their differences”. An ECOWAS delegation would travel to Ouagadougou Monday, the statement added.

Damiba set “seven conditions” for stepping down, the religious and community leaders said.

These included security guarantees for him and his allies in the military; and that the pledge he had given to West Africa’s regional bloc for a return to civilian rule within two years be respected.

The religious and community leaders — who are very influential in Burkina Faso — said that Traore, 34, had accepted the conditions and called for calm

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